WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today joined Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Johnny Isakson of Georgia in reintroducing the IRS Accountability Act of 2018, which gives the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner clear authority to fire senior officials for misconduct or poor performance.
“Accountability is key for a well-functioning and responsible federal government,” Grassley said. “When federal employees engage in wrongdoing, cannot meet professional expectations or fail to fulfill the responsibilities of their job, taxpayers should not be on the hook financially. This bill a signal to the American people that Congress takes its oversight responsibilities seriously and is working on their behalf, rather than working to protect unelected bureaucrats.”
The IRS Accountability Act of 2018 clarifies that the IRS Commissioner has the power to fire senior executives who have failed in their performance or committed serious misconduct. It is based on a law Congress passed in 2014 with broad bipartisan support that gave the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to fire senior executives for misconduct. The provision applies to the highest ranking IRS employees in the Senior Executive Service (SES), and allows the Commissioner to terminate employees for misconduct already deemed severable offenses under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. Such offenses include threatening to audit someone for personal gain, conducting a seizure without approval, assaulting, harassing or violating the civil rights of a taxpayer or a coworker, lying under oath, falsifying or destroying records, concealing information from Congress, underreporting income and failing to file a tax return on time.
Text of the bill can be found here.